Keep Kids Reading All Summer With Reading Bingo!

Keep Kids Reading All Summer With Reading Bingo!

Practicing reading over summer break is so important for strengthening reading skills and encouraging learning. Summer break is a great opportunity for kids to have fun with reading and focus on what interests them. Kids love games and challenges. So get them motivated to read this summer with a reading bingo challenge!

Setting up Reading Bingo

In reading bingo, the bingo card includes different reading challenges. These challenges involve different ways to read, different materials to read, etc. You can make the reading bingo card with markers and paper. Make five columns and five rows (you can use less or more depending on how many challenges you want). Write reading challenges in each square, make sure your rows and columns are big enough to write them in. Or check out our example here that you can download and print: Reading Bingo Card Example

Each time your child completes a reading challenge, they get mark it on the card.

You can play reading bingo several different ways:

  • Have your child pick a row or column they want to complete. Mark off each square as they complete the challenges in that row or column. When they complete the row or column they get a bingo! Have them keep playing over the summer and see how many bingos they can get.
  • Instead of completing a row or column to get a bingo, make the goal to get a “black out” by completing all of the challenges and marking the whole card.
  • For more of a challenge, write the same ideas you put on your bingo card on small pieces of paper and put these in a small bag. Throughout the summer, have your child pull out a piece of paper (without peeking) and complete the reading challenge. This way your child won’t know when they are going to complete a whole row or column and get a bingo.

For many kids, completing a challenge is a reward itself! It can also be fun to add something kids can earn by completing their bingo card. If you want to add in some rewards, they can be simple things like activities you can do together as a family or activities related to reading; Some examples include: playing a favorite game together, earning a new book, reading a favorite book as a family, and a trip to the park to read together.

Reading Challenge Ideas

Here is a list of some ideas for reading challenges you can include on your bingo card:


  • a book outside
  • in a fort
  • a parent’s favorite book from when they were little
  • a comic strip or comic book
  • a magazine
  • a poem
  • lyrics to your favorite song
  • a menu
  • signs you see during a car ride
  • a “how to” book
  • a book about school
  • a book about animals
  • a book with your favorite animal in it
  • a non-fiction book
  • your favorite book
  • a book without words
  • a book while eating your favorite snack
  • a book with rhyming words or tongue twisters
  • the directions to a game
  • a book about nature
  • a book about friendship

Read to a…

  • pet
  • family member
  • friend or neighbor
  • stuffed animal, doll, favorite toy, etc
  • baby or younger child.

Read while…

  • under the covers, with a flashlight.
  • eating your favorite snack
  • talking in a silly voice
  • talking in a whisper voice
  • trying to hop on one foot
  • using puppets

After you read…

  • a recipe, try cooking it
  • draw a picture about what you read
  • draw a picture of your favorite character
  • retell the story with a different ending
  • retell the story to someone
  • read the story again by only looking at the pictures

Keep this activity fun by including a variety of reading materials and ways to read that fit your child’s interests. Have kids come up with some of the reading challenges or pick some ideas from the list. This will help keep them engaged and excited to complete the challenges. And tell us how your reading Bingo went!

Text: © Kids In Transition to School 2020

Image: © photosvit |

Nollie has worn multiple hats while working with the KITS Program. When she was a student at UO she was an assessor on the KITS research projects, a teacher in our school readiness groups, and a childcare assistant. Since then, she has taught KITS groups for 4J and coached other educators to implement the KITS Program.


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